Laser II Sailboat - How I Found Her

Article By Shorty

In early 2007, I saw an ad on craigslist for a Laser II mast, daggerboard, rudder and other parts. I thought "hmm.... wonder if the seller is parting out a junk boat". So I emailed him and sure enough, he acquired an old junk Laser II and was stripping all the parts off for sale. I asked him what he planned to do with the hull, and he said drive over it with his pickup truck to crush it and take it to the dump. So I offered to haul it away for him, and later that day ended up with this hull in my yard.

I soon found out why he was so eager to strip the hull, this one was built with a deck that had a foam core, very similar to a Hobie 14 or 16. And same as with those boats, if you keep the hull sealed, the heat of the day warms the air up inside the hull, and the hull gains pressure, which makes the foam seperate from the glass. After the foam has seperated, the deck gets soft, and looses most of it's strength. On a hobie, a deck going soft is really bad, but on this laser, the hull is solid fiberglass and the deck isn't that critical to it's strength.

I had a bunch of other stuff going on, other boats to fix up, and so the hull leaned up against the fence like this for a few years.

Finally in early 2010, I got enough other projects moved out of the way that I could finally start working on this boat. The first thing I did was patch up the many small holes left over from the removed parts, and install a set of oarlocks as far aft as I could use them. Reason I installed a set way back there is so that I can take a passenger(s) who will sit in the front, and I can row from the rear.

I met my friend Randy Smith down at Tempe Town lake on a rainy Sunday morning and we rowed around a bit.

For a long time, my favorite sailboat was a Free Holder 12 Sailboat Hull. It has a long cockpit and is very comfortable to sit in. The only problem is the cockpit starts from the stern gunnel, so if I want to take a passenger, I have to sit way back there, and it sort of drops the stern in the water.

I was reading about the first Everglades Challenge and how it was won by "Vanman" in a Laser Expedition, which is one of the versions of the Laser II. The picture to the right is Vanman's laser, after he modified it.

You can see he did all sorts of modifications to make it a long range cruising boat, plus the ability to row it comfortably for long periods.

This is what a stock laser II looks like with all the racing gear and a guy out on a hiking wire.

Here is a comparison of a Laser II and the original laser.

This is a quick sketch I made of a cross section comparing both a Holder 12 and a Laser II cockpit.